A significant gap, in not only peramelid nutritional physiology but marsupial nutrition as a whole, is the lack of information relating to microorganisms of the gastrointestinal tract. This research is a preliminary investigation that will provide a baseline for comparisons among peramelids. The high degree of 16S rRNA gene clones identified in this research that are closely related to culturable bacteria suggests that additional research will enable a more complete description of the gastrointestinal bacteria of I. macrourus. Most identifiable clones belonged to Clostridium and Ruminococcus. This research has confirmed that the hindgut of I. macrourus, the caecum, proximal colon and distal colon, are the main sites for microbial activity.
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Vol. 64 • No. 1